Judo skills help Olympic champion Fabio Basile through blocking

ROME: Patience is a key element of judo and for Olympic champion Fabio Basile It is a virtue that has served him in recent weeks in Europe's longest running of the bulls.

Until a few weeks ago, Basile was confident in his preparations to defend the 66-kilogram Olympic gold medal he won four years ago in Rio de Janeiro.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, which led Italy to enter an eight-week lockdown and caused the Tokyo Games to be postponed for a year, forced him to suspend his preparations and was only able to resume intense training this week.

I learned about deferring the Olympic Games here at the Olympic center, he told Reuters during a training session. I remember it as if it were today.

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"icannotsaythatitwasnicenewstohear,becauseiwasinverygoodshape; I had just a won a Grand Prix in Tel Aviv. I could feel that I was starting to build up the same kind of energy that I felt before the last Olympic Games , but now I think it's better this way.

"The health of world's population is more important - the Olympic Games can wait. I think that if you are number one in the world, you are number one today, in July 2020 and you will also be number one in 2021, no problem."

Italy is still far from normality. At the Olympic center near Rome, where Basile was training, there would normally be around 100 athletes practicing judo, karate and wrestling. On Tuesday, Basile was the only one.

Obviously I thought about it and waited until the last moment that the Olympic Games It would not be postponed. But again, this is not an easy situation, he said.

There have been deaths and this is not a game. We all need patience, and judo teaches that as well, patience. Calm is the virtue of the strong.

Judo also taught him to face his fears, he said.

The first thing that judo taught me when I was a child, I was about six or seven-years-old, was precisely: how to face my fears, he said.

Fear is a feeling that prevents us humans from doing many things that we would like to do. It paralyzes us, it imprisons us. Now is the time to be brave. We must move forward and be positive, that's all.

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